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Ondo bye-election: PDP accuses LP of planning to rig

Ahead of Saturday by-election in Ilaje/Ese-Odo Federal Constituency of Ondo State,the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged all contending political parties to follow due process as entrenched in the electoral act.

The Party at a news conference in Akure, the State Capital also called on relevant agencies having any role in the election to act in an unbiased manner.

Its State Chairman,Mr Ebenezer Alabi said organisations such as Nigerian Army ,Police,State Security Service (SSS) Navy, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) among others should maintain neutrality during the exercise to prevent violence.

Alabi alleged that two prominent Labour Party (LP)Chieftains in the riverine area were invited to security council meeting over the weekend where they allegedly perfected plans to use security agents to truncate the will of the electorate through massive rigging.

According to him, the planks of the plan is the recruitment of militants as boat operators for the security agencies on the election day, while the training of the selected boys by the Naval Authority in the area is slated for tomorrow.

Besides, Alabi alleged that emergency military trained boat operators are to be given military uniform for the special assignment.

He said “the rigging devices of the ruling LP which have been communicated to the relevant authorities also include the delay of the release of ballot materials to the strongest units of the opposition parties, especially the PDP.

“They are using LP thugs and loyalists in those strong areas under the pretext that election materials arrive late and create false situation of insecurity and hide under that to relocate collation centre to Akure.

“General monetization of the electoral process, which has already started with the daily invitation and inducement of monarchs, community heads, religious leaders and strategic stakeholders by Dr Olusegun Mimiko who had in the past one month relocated to the Federal Constituency.

Alabi said the PDP was committed to the principle of one man, one vote, which according to him is also in tandem with the electoral reform agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.

He cited several cases in past elections, particularly in 2010 when LP colluded with INEC officials to remove ballot boxes and papers from Igbokoda Zion and taken it to Forward Operation Base(FOB) for the purpose of multiple thumb printing and stuffing.

The PDP Chairman noted that the problems with elections in the state had become more complicated since Mimiko emerged as governor of the State.

His words “Dr Mimiko is someone who in public glare pretends to be an apostle of a free and fair elections, but who under covers is the greatest proponent of election rigging.

The PDP chairman warned against past experiences with security agencies, particularly the military that had connived with desperate politicians in the past. He said there should be a level playing ground for all contending parties.

Alabi however assured that the PDP would conduct itself in accordance with the law during the election, stressing that it would never remain idle while its interest is being jeopardised.

But a top official of the ruling LP denied the allegations levelled against his party,stressing that the PDP leadership and their followers were jittery and crying over the inevitable defeat awaiting them at the Polls on Saturday.

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